The State of Pennsylvania doesn’t require one to take a class prior to applying for a concealed carry permit. We respect and appreciate living in a state that allows citizens to exercise a fundamental and constitutionally protected right without requiring any specific arbitrary amount of training.
However, carrying a firearm without a clear understanding of State, County, and City laws relating to where/when/how one can carry and defend oneself as well as fundamental skills relating to the SAFE carrying and PROPER use of that firearm both in terms of shooting skills and defensive tactics, is irresponsible.Firearm training is a lifelong journey. No specific amount of training, required by the government or not, should ultimately make you feel like you have arrived and are fully prepared for any potential life-threatening encounter.
It is our opinion that regardless if you live in Pennsylvania where no training is required, Kentucky where 8 hours is required, or Illinois where 16 hours is required to obtain a concealed carry permit; none of that is sufficient to truly and adequately prepare you for a gunfight.
Now, we also recognize that many people have a background relating to firearms and shooting. Here are some questions to ask yourself. If you can’t answer them all with great confidence in the affirmative you should seek out the next best step in your training:
- Are you intimately familiar with laws in Pennsylvania relating to the use of force? When and where you can legally use a firearm in the defense of yourself or others?
- Are you intimately familiar with laws in Pennsylvania and Federal laws that dictate where you may or may not be able to carry a firearm?
- Are you intimately familiar with laws that determine how reciprocity works and what you need to know before traveling across state lines beyond just the question of reciprocity?
- Do you know where to research other state’s relevant firearm laws before traveling through those states?
- Do you know about the potential criminal and civil consequences of the use of deadly force and how to prepare in advance for those incidents, and how to act in the moment to best ensure a positive outcome in the legal proceedings that will follow?
- Have you built strong shooting skills that include a proper grip, sight alignment & acquisition, moving while shooting, use of cover, reloading, different shooting positions, and other fundamentals that are required to get shots on moving targets in a dynamic self-defense incident?
There are many more questions like those above that we could list. The point is that almost nobody can answer all of those with 100% confidence without having received significant formal training. Start or continue your journey today and make it a lifelong journey of shooting.